How to Make A Herbal Tea

Posted by Laura Ash on

Tea is not for the light-hearted. 
Making tea should be easy, but making herbal tea if you are using herbs as medicine is a different story. The tea plant, Camilia sinensis, is what all "tea" is made from. Tea includes white tea, green tea, oolong tea, black tea, and puerh. These are all made from the same plant, just processed different. 
Herbal teas are technically not tea at all, they are tisanes. Tisanes are herbs that drank and steeped like tea, but not made from Camilia sinensis.  Herbal teas have a long tradition in Western Herbalism, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. To make a herbal tea there are a few options depending on what outcome you are looking for and what type of herbs you are using.
1. HOT INFUSION: This method is used for all tea (Camilia sinensis), and the most common use of tea making in the world. You can also call this method "steeping". Used for aerial parts of the plant (stem, leaf, flower) this is a quick way to get a yummy tea. The Hot Infusion steeping method is for any tea that is already in a tea bag. Take 1 tsp. of loose herbs, add 12 oz. of hot water. Let steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain. Drink. Enjoy. 
2. NOURISHING HERBAL INFUSION: Susun Weed coined this term, and it has now become a herbal industry staple. A Nourishing Herbal Infusion is for tonic, mineral rich herbs that are drank in larger amounts. This method is used for herbs such as nettles, comfrey leaf, alfalfa, red clover, and the like. Take 1 oz. (weight) of herb, add 32 ounces of hot water. Cover and let sit overnight. Strain in the morning and drink throughout the day. 
3. DECOCTION: Also called "boiling". This method of herbal tisane making is for the roots, barks, mushrooms, and berries of the plant. You'll often see traditional masala chai, and winter teas being made in this method. Add 1 Tbls. of rooty tea to 16 oz. of water, bring up to a boil and let simmer for 12-30 min. Strain and drink. 
4. COLD INFUSION: This method is for polysaccharide rich herbs, or as we like to call it, gelatinous herbs. Herbs rich in polysaccharides are marshmallow root, blessed thistle, peppermint, and chamomile. There are other herbs that may benefit from this infusion, check with your herbal teachers for more herbs! Take 1 Tbls. of herb, add 12 oz. of cold water. Cover and let steep overnight. Strain and keep refrigerated until finished drinking. 
This image is taken from our free postcards we have in the shop! Call us or email us to send you one in the mail! 
xo Laura
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